Since they first crawled gasping from the sea, poets have been rhapsodizing about the beauty of certain cities at dawn. The light of sunrise, the dew glittering jewel-like on the rooftops, women moving gracefully to draw water from the wells, and so on.

Some poets have even gone so far as to wax rhapsodic about the city of Tarbean. While their words tell us very little about the city, I believe they do reflect certain truths about poets themselves.

The morning dew does not make Tarbean glimmer. When it settles it is quickly transformed to a slick coat of grime that makes the cobbled alleys dangerous to walk, and the walls of buildings unpleasant to touch.

For the most part, summertime Tarbean smelled like baked piss and rancid fish oil. Like too many people, too hot, and too long between washings. Like tar and stale beer and horseshit.

But hot weather is preferable to rain. When it rains, Tarbean smells like a wet dog that�s sick from eating the wrong sort of things....

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